Bank holiday boom: attack of King Billy’s army upon Carrickfergus Castle will be brought back to life with historic re-enactment – FULL DETAILED SCHEDULE

A cannon blast from a prior re-enactmentA cannon blast from a prior re-enactment
A cannon blast from a prior re-enactment
A re-enactment of the Siege of Carrickfergus will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, the council has announced.

It will be free, and will involve 40 actors recreating the 1689 event, when the forces of King William III (King Billy) attacked the Jacobite stronghold of Carrickfergus.

The siege lasted a week, after which the defenders were allowed to leave the castle – defeated, but with “the honours of war” (a military custom showing respect to vanquished foes who fought honourably).

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The events take place from 11am to 4pm, during which time there will be other entertainment: face painters, balloon modelling, a falconry display, a performance by CWA Brass, and a pop up cinema showing Pixar films, and an artisan market.

King Billy at the Boyne (after his victory at Carrickfergus)King Billy at the Boyne (after his victory at Carrickfergus)
King Billy at the Boyne (after his victory at Carrickfergus)

Here is the full schedule:

11.45: Compere sets the scene by the castle

Noon: Parade begins from Town Hall to castle

12.10: Alarm is raised, garrison retire to the castle and hoist King James flag

12.15: Schomberg (King Billy’s commander) assembles his forces before the castle

12.20: McKarty (the Jacobite defender) leaves the castle for parley

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12.25: Parley breaks down and McKarty retires to the castle, taking prisoner the town dignitaries

12.30: Schomberg orders siege to commence, musketeers advance to give fire, cannon battery constructed, dragoons advance

12.35: First cannon shot is fired

12.40 Fife and Drum strike up a merry tune, garrison return fire

12.50: Townspeople approach Schomberg due to damage to town

12.55: Dragoons run low on ammunition and retire to camp to reload

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13.00: Lull in firing. Verbal exchange between garrison and a Williamite soldier. Single shot fired killing soldier

13.05: Firing recommences, all musketeers and cannon

13.10: White flag waved, firing ceases, McKarty leaves the castle for parley

13.15: Having agreed surrender terms McKarty retires to the castle and surrenders to Schomberg. As garrison match off towards the back of the green they are assaulted by townspeople. Schomberg intervenes to stop a breach of the terms of surrender

13.30: King William lands and is escorted up the Quay to the town, followed by musical performances

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14.20: The re-enactment starts, with King Billy the victor! Troops are assembled, and cannon fired in remembrance

15:00: Re-enactment ends.


Meanwhile, there will be a military music event at 7pm on September 11 at the castle.

The Massed Bands of the Army’s four Irish Regiments perform together for the first time in Northern Ireland in 35 years.

The evening will feature displays from the bands of the Irish Guards and the Royal Irish Regiment, alongside the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Queen’s Royal Hussars.

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There will also be a performance from a choir of Fijian soldiers who serve in Irish regiments.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday morning, here:

It is also being live streamed across Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the British Army’s social media platforms.

More from the News Letter:

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